Libraries and sports facilities in Helsinki offer things to do during the Christmas holidays as well

There is plenty to do and experience in Helsinki even during Christmas and the turn of the year. On Christmas Eve, there are three libraries and one youth centre open in Helsinki. The city's artificial ice rinks are open to city residents throughout the end of the year, except on Christmas Eve. The state of skiing tracks in the Helsinki region can be checked on the service.
Christmas tree in Kallio Library.
Being open on Christmas Eve has already become a tradition in Kallio Library. Photo: Ate Silvo

In Helsinki, you can enjoy the warmth of libraries even on Christmas Eve: Itäkeskus, Kallio and Rikhardinkatu Libraries are open on 24 December from 10:00 to 16:00. On Christmas Eve, the libraries will also be serving glogg to visitors.

In 2018, Kallio Library became the first library in Helsinki to remain open on Christmas Eve. It was joined the following year by Rikhardinkatu Library and most recently in 2022 by Itäkeskus Library. Being open on Christmas Eve has gradually become a permanent part of Helsinki City Library's services.

“Being open on Christmas Eve is important to us at the library, as there are very few free-of-charge places open for people to visit in the City on Christmas Eve. The library wants to provide services to those who do not celebrate Christmas and a sense of community and warmth to those who feel lonely during the Christmas holiday period. The libraries open on Christmas Eve have also received praise from families who have visited them in the morning on Christmas Eve to pick up some books and games to enjoy during the holidays,” says Chief Librarian Anki Mölläri from Itäkeskus Library.

Libraries in Helsinki are closed on Christmas Day 25 December, Boxing Day 26 December and New Year's Day 1 January. On Epiphany 6 January, Central Library Oodi is open from 12:00 to 18:00. Some of Helsinki’s self-service libraries are also open during the end-of-year holidays; you can find their opening hours on the libraries’ own pages on the Helmet website. The self-service libraries can be accessed by registered users using a library card and PIN code.

Luuppi Youth Activity Centre in Kontula welcomes young people during the Christmas holidays as well. Luuppi is open between 24 and 29 December from 15:00 to 21:30.

Skating and skiing can be enjoyed regardless of the weather

The City offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation during Christmas and New Year. Helsinki's artificial ice rinks are closed only on Christmas Eve and can be used for skating free-of-charge on other days. The rink-specific public skating and exceptional opening hours of all the artificial ice rinks in Helsinki can be found on the service.

The service also provides information on the state of skiing tracks in the Helsinki region. For example, the Paloheinä skiing track is maintained with snowmakers, keeping it in good skiing condition even during poor weather. The service provides the following, track-specific information: the date the track was last maintained or its state inspected, its length, the recommended skiing style and the lighting by the track. 

Indoor sports facilities, such as swimming and sports halls and gyms, follow exceptional opening hours during Christmas and New Year. As a general rule, indoor sports facilities are closed from 24 to 26 December 2023 and on 1 January 2024 and also follow exceptional opening hours on other days. You can find the opening hours of swimming and sports halls at

The City Museum's Christmas season continues until Epiphany

The Helsinki City Museum, Villa Hakasalmi and Tram Museum are open on Boxing Day 26 December, New Year's Eve 31 December and Epiphany 6 January from 11:00 to 17:00.

At the Burgher’s House, you can enjoy the Christmas cheer of eras past all the way up to Epiphany. The Burgher's House is open between 27 December and 7 January from 11:00 to 17:00 (closed on New Year's Day 1 January).